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There’s a dire need for sustainable alternatives so that we humans can lower our carbon footprint on the planet. However, cars are one of the major contributors to the rising pollution levels and while there are other modes of transport available, many people still prefer to use cars for intra-city transport. The e-mobility startup Bird wants to change this by offering e-scooters for transportation, which are not only easily accessible and safe, but also less harmful for the environment.
Bird started off as a US-based startup and later attained the status of a ‘Unicorn’. It offers dockless electric scooters to its users via a vehicle sharing platform. The current key issue with using an e-scooter is finding the vehicle via its GPS on the map, which can be a hit or a miss.
Bird has come up with an innovative way to circumvent the issue and announced a monthly rental service for its e-scooters the city of San Francisco and Barcelona. Additionally, a Bird spokesperson confirmed to Silicon Canals that the company is hoping the service will be accessible in Barcelona before the summers arrive.
Rent a Bird e-scooter
Till now, one could boot up the Bird app to find one of its multiple vehicles and pay less than a euro to unlock and use it. However, one can now rent a Bird electric scooter for €22.39 per month in San Fransico and €34.99 in Barcelona. The company will deliver it to your doorstep and pick it up when the month is over, making local commuting easier and less impactful on the environment.
Further, the rental e-scooter company says it expects to soon announce the service in other markets also, but has refrained from any details about the cities where the new service might be next announced.
The strategy employed by Bird of renting its e-scooters is a departure from what usually goes on in the mobility space. High frequency of operation is preferred over the convenience of renting a personal scooter for a month-long period. It remains to be seen how the new service will impact the company’s business model.
How should cities plan to accommodate e-scooters?
Most major cities around the world are vying to offer sustainable ways to move around. Startups and companies like Bird play a vital role in helping them realise this goal but with rapidly growing competition and similar startups competing in the same regions, it can be a challenge to handle the number of e-scooters in a city. We asked Bird on its view on how cities could plan to handle e-scooters.
Bird’s spokesperson said, “A big part of this (sustainable mobility) is micro mobility as an option to move around freely in your city, and ideally in combination with the local public transport infrastructure. More sustainable paths – for bikes, e-bikes, e-scooters, etc – need to be added to cities, and the right regulations also need to be put in place, allowing for these forms of transportation to become a real solution to two very real problems that each city faces: congestion and pollution.”
Stay tuned to Silicon Canals for more updates in the tech startup world.